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Generators & Motors General Discussion Antique Generators, Light Plants and Old Electric Motors: Questions and answers about restoring and showing old power generation systems.

Generators & Motors General Discussion

Diesel vs. #2 Fuel Oil


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  #1  
Old 02-24-2005, 01:23 AM
Steve Dawkins Steve Dawkins is offline
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Default Diesel vs. #2 Fuel Oil

Can anyone explain the difference between #2 diesel fuel and #2 fuel oil for home heating systems. I know the difference between on road and off road (dyed) diesel, which deals primarily with road taxes. I have had a fuel supplier tell me there isn't any difference between diesel and fuel oil, and others have said they are similar but have different additives. Any thoughts?

Steve
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Old 02-24-2005, 02:46 AM
Bear Bear is offline
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Default Re: Diesel vs. #2 Fuel Oil

dad still heats his house with deisel the fuel going into his furnace tank comes out of the same compartment on the fuel truck that they sell the winter deisel out of
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Old 02-24-2005, 03:21 AM
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Mike in NC Mike in NC is offline
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Default Re: Diesel vs. #2 Fuel Oil

My grandfather used #2 heating oil in his backhoe for 20 years. He said the only main difference is that diesel is cleaner, and if you use #2 heating oil, you should change the filters on the engine more often. His backhoe ran great on it and it was cheaper the diesel.
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Old 02-24-2005, 02:00 PM
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Default Re: Diesel vs. #2 Fuel Oil

Well.... Last time when I filled my house and shop tank after he was done he asked me what I wanted.... Heating oil or Diesel... I told him I wanted the cheapest and got diesel. Probably there is a difference if you buy the Premium diesel fuel. I do Know one thing.... If you got a Diesel Pikup use the clear stuff that the road tax has been paid on. A few have got Burnt pretty bad here on that one as they can stop you and take a sample anytime...
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Old 02-24-2005, 02:56 PM
Jeff Conner Jeff Conner is offline
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Default Re: Diesel vs. #2 Fuel Oil

I live near a petroleum pipeline. To the pipeline people, No.2 high sulfur diesel and No.2 heating (fuel) oil come through the pipeline as the same product and are dyed red. Low sulfur No.2 fuel oil is intended primarily for on-highway use and is not dyed. The sulfur content is the only main difference. Initially lowering the sulfur content caused acceleratered wear in diesel fuel systems, but additives and newer designs have corrected that. I would never use low sulfur fuel oil in older or low tech diesel engine fuel systems. I have used standard No.2 heating oil in my Kubota diesel tractor for 20 years without any problems. Some fuel oil distributors may add something to off highway No.2, but it is not necessary for engine use.
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Old 02-25-2005, 12:51 AM
Steve Dawkins Steve Dawkins is offline
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Default Re: Diesel vs. #2 Fuel Oil

Jeff,

Based on what you're saying, I should avoid using on-road diesel for my 1981 Onan DJC genset?

Steve
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Old 02-25-2005, 01:24 AM
Pentode Pentode is offline
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Default Re: Diesel vs. #2 Fuel Oil

With the DJC it does not matter. I have used a mix of oils, fuels and have had no problems with the pump, injectors or anything else other than replacing fuel filters a bit more often. The DJC running on "on-road" will cost you more in fuel given the taxes, MN is 20 cents/gal so it makes a big difference for me. The only thing I notice with Off Road fuel is the engine starts slightly harder during cold weather and this might have to do with our "winter blends" but Im not sure. Im currently burning slightly used trans fluid that I get for free from the local school bus garage, gets changed once a month no matter what and for me anyway it burns quite well.

On or off road makes no difference to the DJC as far as I can tell, I broke the set in with on-road for 200 hours then switched to cheaper off-road and now I have 2152 running hours as of this post with the DJC running the house as always. Oil is Mobile-1 10W40 now and filter is Fram PH-977.

Pentode
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Old 02-25-2005, 03:43 AM
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Default Re: Diesel vs. #2 Fuel Oil

>Jeff,
>Based on what you're saying, I should avoid using on-road diesel for my 1981 >Onan DJC genset?
>Steve

Steve, I have a pair of Northern Lights 20 Kw Gensets that were rebuilt at 40,000 Hours each, and that was 9000 hours ago. They have run on #1 Diesel fuel, their whole existance. Never had a problem with them, and I use Delo 400 15W40 Base Oil, changed every 200 hours. The only reason we use #1 diesel fuel, is that the same tank also feeds my Open Flame Pot Burning Kitchen Cookstove (which will not burn #2 diesel fuel) that heats my water and cabin.

Bruce in alaska
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Old 02-25-2005, 02:14 PM
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Default Re: Diesel vs. #2 Fuel Oil

In NY, the only difference is TAXES. #2 Diesel and #2 heating oil come from the same tank at the tankfarm, and RED die is injected as the oil enters the tanktruck. Off Road Diesel is subject to sales tax, home heating oil is NOT.
High sulfur diesel is virtually nonexistant in the US today.
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Old 02-25-2005, 07:01 PM
Raymond Raymond is offline
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Default Re: Diesel vs. #2 Fuel Oil

There are several differences between heating oil and diesel fuel. Heating oil usually has a low cloud point, and no cetane rating. The cloud point is the temperature at which wax crystalizes in the fuel and plugs the filter train thereby stopping the engine. The cetane rating is the volatility of the fuel and indicates how readily it will auto-ignite. #1d has a very low cloud point and high cetane rating, and hence is the fuel of choice in the winter when starting and flow are critical. It has a higher volatility and comes off the tree at a higher point in smaller quantities making it more expensive. #2 d will stop you cold in temperatures below about 25 degrees. Just ask any trucker. Most fuels are blended by season. As the temperature extremes drop, more #1 d is added. If storing fuel year round #1 should be used. You can add up to 20% regular unleaded gasoline to #2d to get out of trouble but the lower lubricity will eventually cause accelerated wear in the pump. Heating oil has no requirement to autoignite and les stringent requirements for ash, sulfur, moisture and other contaminents not harmful to an oil burner but so for diesels. For that reason diesel fuel should always be run in a diesel with a critical mission. The pennies saved in the fuel will be lost the first time you get a load of low quality fuel oil in the dead of winter.
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